Tag Archives: Book Review

Low Town: A Novel by Daniel Polansky

So, recently things haven’t been going so well for me and my family. We did find a small house that fit our family. Only to have new neighbors move in, and their 5 year old stab my 7 year old in the neck! After a long four hour drive to Seattle (because flight for life doesn’t have room for even one parent!) my son was doing good in the emergency room there. He is fine now, he actually likes to show people his stab wound! Children! Needless to say, I could really use some positive things to happen.

But, I went over to that train wreck of a house that we previously lived in and checked the mail not to long ago, and when my son went to the door, there was a package there for me. I was checking the mail only because I had bought an item and the tracking stuff said it had been delivered…only it hadn’t. So, I went to the old house to see if it was there…nope. But, there was a book. It was sent to me from Random House (love you guys) and I am always happy to get a new book. My day=brightened!

The book is called “Low Town” by Daniel Polansky and it is a different sort of book. I admit that at first I wasn’t sure if it would be “up my alley”. I only say this because, I’m not really into the whole pimp/drug scene which is where this book started out.

I don’t think the story really caught me until there was a child murdered and the main character was hunting down the killer. Because when he finds the guy, he stalks him and then some kind of demon comes for the bad guy.  Then, I felt like I was invested in the book and needed to know that someone paid for the death of a child. To me, there isn’t much lower then a child murderer…except for one who molests children…and this guy did both. My opinion=hang him. Sorry, if that offends anyone’s senses.

There were somethings that didn’t sit right with me and were a little confusing to being with. There was a lot of made up words (to differentiate between new races) there were also new/made up drugs. The only reason these gave me pause, is because there were really no explanations to them. Within the first few pages the guy is talking about inhaling pixie breath (not once is a real pixie in the book…but then again I guess when making angel dust there aren’t any pieces of angels in there either…)

I liked that the main character had a fall from grace. He used to be a good guy, but became a bad guy when love got in the way and he got the boot. I do, however wish there had been a little bit more told about that love story. Because the main character is kind of mysterious. And I find myself (like many of the people he interacts with) wanting to know more about him. I want to make him more relatable to me.

Not that he isn’t relatable. He has my vote by going after child killers. And I do root for him, and I turned ever page with the hope that no more kids would die and that he would make the deadline that we set for him and that he would die. (There was a lot of “ands” in that sentence, I apologize for that. J

My one negative thing about this book, that I really could harp on, was the ending. I felt like I was in the book from about a quarter of the way in until the end. And, in my opinion, the ending was completely rushed. Once he figured it out, there was no more of the main characters usual build up, no more of his intricate mind games. It was just an “aha” moment and blam, done. Twenty pages or less. I just felt like there could have been more.

However, that being said, it was a good book. I would definitely read another of Daniel Polansky’s  books.

 

Until Next Time…Happy Reading!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Drama/Suspense, Horror

Smokin’ Seventeen: A Stephanie Plum Novel

By Janet Evanovich

**Review may contain SPOILERS**

I love this series. It is completely different from almost anything else that I avidly read. A friend of my mom’s kept telling me about these books (at that time, there was only seven books out). I kept saying, “Yeah, yeah, if I get time’” or “I’m already reading too many series books as it is.” Plus, I didn’t like his normal reading preference, so I was skeptical about these books. Not to mention, they look like they are colored by highlighters. I mean, you could practically see these books from space, that’s how bright the covers are.

So, he bought me the first two books….and I bought the next five within days. That’s how good they are. No vampires or werewolves in these books, these are strictly reality (well, mostly reality) based books. They are feel good books. I always find myself smiling and actually laughing out loud during parts of these books.

Stephanie Plum is a bail bonds enforcement agent (think Dog the Bounty Hunter’s wife, only with a smaller chest, bigger hair, and a lot less skill). That’s Stephanie. And she has a sidekick named Lula. Who is a retired ho, and she tells you about it all the time. She is a big black woman who tries to fit into petite woman clothing, mostly spandex and animal printed, or very neon. She is constantly on some fad diet or another, which is completely hilarious. A few books back she was on the meat only diet and had a whole bag of bacon….and a trail of dogs following her everywhere.

Not only is Stephanie a so-so agent, her ability to catch the bail jumpers is more luck then anything, but she has two of the hottest guys in Trenton, New Jersey just waiting for her. I like Morelli, he is a Trenton plain clothes cop and used to be a major womanizer in his youth and has grown up, mostly. But, O-M-G Ranger? He has my vote the whole way. He is dark and Latino and he owns his own firm, skirts the law, has a fleet of unending black expensive cars, and uses Bulgari Green. Yum. That’s all I can say about him. He makes reading the books very exciting.

Anyways, this book starts out with them finding a body where the bail bonds office used to be (it got blown up in the last book). Lots of things tend to blow up around Stephanie, mostly cars. Sometimes houses. Ranger’s men have betting pools every time Ranger gives Stephanie a car to see how long it lasts. It’s usually not long.

So, I might have fibbed a little bit at the beginning of this review about the “no vampires” part. This book has one. Or at least an old man who thinks he’s one. He has failed to show for his court date so Stephanie has to go and get him. When she and Lula get there, he won’t come out because the sun is still up. At first, they leave and go talk to Stephanie’s grandmother who lives with Stephanie’s parents not to far away, because Grandma Mazur knows pretty much everything about everyone and is a major source of comedy to me. She confirms that the guy thinks he’s a vampire and that he never comes out when the sun is up. Not to be deterred, Stephanie and Lula return to the house and Stephanie goes around back and let herself into his place with a key that was left above the door. She cuffs him, lets Lula in and the begin to take him out when the sun hits him he starts screaming and Lula starts tripping out, next thing he is sucking on her neck, only his teeth are dentures and he doesn’t have them in. He gets away, and Lula has a hickey to show for it. The entire book she is tripping out about vampire cooties and asking if her teeth are growing bigger because she might be turning into a vampire.

Meanwhile, Stephanie’s mom is trying to hook her up with this guy named Dave that went to school with Stephanie years ago. And man, this guy doesn’t take hints well. After like two or three tries to be nice but telling Dave that not only is she not interested, she has two boyfriends already and they both carry guns, she winds up breaking his nose with a hair dryer! He totally deserved it though!

Then Bella, Morelli’s grandmother is a crazy old bat, she talks about giving people the eye and everyone is afraid of her. There are all kinds of stories about her casting spells on people and bad things happening to them. Well, in this book, it’s Stephanie’s turn to experience the eye. Bella doesn’t like Stephanie, she calls her all kinds of names because Morelli is her favorite grandchild and Stephanie is corrupting him and not marrying him, plus her grandmother Mazur is not on Bella’s list of favorite people.

More bodies turn up at the former site of the bail bonds office. And one with a note saying “For Stephanie”. To top it off, a crazy guy with a vendetta just got released from jail and wants to kill her. This is not her week.

If you are looking for a book (or series of books) that will keep you laughing, this is definitely a series for you. I always look forward to them. Start with “One for the Money”. Make sure to read them in order (including the in between the numbers books) or else some jokes won’t make as much sense.

Leave a comment

Filed under Drama/Suspense

Then He Kissed Me by Christie Ridgway

**WARNING**My review may contain SPOILERS**

So, I received an advanced copy of this book and I did finish reading it before it’s release date which was this past Tuesday. I just didn’t get around to doing my review….I know, I know, bad Jessica. But, to be honest, it has been a really rough couple of weeks. My husband was diagnosed with a brain aneurism (that turned out to be TWO aneurism and a return trip to Seattle on the 17th) and so we spent days in the hospital, where surprisingly, my review was the last thing on my mind. No offense meant to the author, or to anyone else. I just thought I would explain a little bit, as to why I am putting up a review late.

I am usually not that big into romance books, just for the romance of them. I don’t mind reading drama that has romance (ie: vivid sex scenes & torrid love affairs), I just have found that romance for the sake of romance isn’t my cup of tea. I have also found that most romance novels share the same basic outline: one person loves another who doesn’t want to be loved and in the end, they wind up together. Happily ever after. So, like I said, I like a book that isn’t all about the romance and has a whole separate storyline ahead of the love. But, in this case, I was interested in reading the book, because I hadn’t read a good chick-lit, love book in a while, and to be honest, just needed the happy ending.

In this book, which I found out is the second book in a series, we meet Stevie Baci. She is a limo driver (she owns her own company) and also is part of a family business of making and selling wine in Napa Valley. The opening chapter had my attention instantly and I wound up finishing this book in about a day and a half. Stevie is having to drive her ex around on New Year’s Eve with his current fiance. Ouch. To make things worse, there is a tall, dark, and handsome (not to mention instant attraction) brother of the bride-to-be to contend with. Jack, has a very bad reputation. For loving and leaving and a number of other things. He gets into her car and let’s her know that since she is now in charge of his sister’s wedding that she is now his new best friend. Because, he isn’t letting his sister’s wedding get ruined over a jilted lover.

The instant attraction between these two is wonderfully written. The fact that Stevie tries (and fails miserably) to have sex like a man and to keep things simple, is a strong basis in the book. She thinks that if she keeps telling herself that it’s just sex that maybe she won’t fall in love with Jack and that she may be able to salvage what is left of her life since he ex left her. She knows that in the small town they live in, everyone knows the nitty-gritty and they feel sorry for her. She doesn’t want their pity, so has decided to play the game with Jack in the hopes that with him around, everyone will see she isn’t mooning over her ex. And that she is fully capable of planning and executing a wedding for him and his bride-to-be.

But Jack and his sister have secrets of their own. Like being kidnapped and not ever wanting to go home. Or the fact that Roxie stole Stevie’s boyfriend knowing fully that he was already taken. Plus, Jack doesn’t want to admit that he is falling for Stevie. That although she shows the world a tough tomboy she is really a softie on the inside.

I really did enjoy reading this book. And now knowing that it is part of a series, I want to go and read the first one. AND can’t wait until the third one comes out in June. (especially since there was a teaser in the back of my book, to give me an idea of what is to come!)

All in all, if you like romance, I would say to give this author a chance. There is a story that goes along with the romance. The Baci sisters trying to save their winery, or Jack & his sister trying to escape their pasts. So, it makes it worth the read.

Here are some places to find/learn more about the book:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8310766-then-he-kissed-me

http://www.amazon.com/Then-He-Kissed-Three-Kisses/dp/0425239179/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294538473&sr=8-1

and here is a way to follow the author on twitter:

@ChristieRidgway

Until Next Time….Happy Reading!!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Romance

Soul Stalker by Laura Kreitzer

So, I finally got around to finishing this book after about a month and a half of having it. In my defense, the Robert Jordan book came out and I have been waiting a year for that one! Plus, it was over 800 pages!! To top it off, I got the Soul Stalker book sent to me as an e-book, and my computer ate it. It completely refused to transfer into my kindle, which was frustrating to say the least 😦 . I finally just went and bought the book from amazon and started in on it. Slowly….

Not to say that Ms. Kreitzer is a bad writer, that is not that case at all. Soul Stalker is the second book in her Timeless series, the first being Shadow of the Sun (read my review here: https://thesexiilibrarian.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/shadow-of-the-sun-laura-kreitzer/ ). I just had forgotten where the previous book had left off, and felt a little lost in the first couple of chapters is all.

I did enjoy getting back into Kreizter’s style of writing. She writes very fluidly and it is easy to follow along and get caught up in the emotions of the moment. That being said, let’s get down to the details, shall we?

When Shadow of the Sun ended, we, as the reader, knew that our heroine and Illuminator was still alive, whereas pretty much no one else was privy to this information. So, in the beginning of this book, Gabriella has revealed her still living, if a little altered, state of being to Joseph. The extremely attractive FBI agent. Together, well, mostly Gabriella, makes a plan to find her Angels (Andrew, Ehno, Aiden, and Lucia), she just needs the help that the FBI can give her.

First thing on her list, get to Italy. Second thing, save Zola. Third, save her Angels. And fourth, try not to die *again* during any of this.

In the first book, the attraction between Joseph and Gabriella is very noticeable, as is her instant love and infatuation with Andrew (one of the Angels, her kindred spirit to be exact). I am usually a big fan of love triangles, they add a little paunch to any story. And every reader will always choose one side or the other. In my case, I felt the choice was a little biased. I really like Joseph. He did meet her first, he’s human, attainable, super sexy, and he likes Gabriella. But, he is no match for a celestial being. So, I was sad at the end of the last book when things really hadn’t been resolved in the love triangle. I like happy endings, I’m a bit of a sap that way. I don’t want to see Joseph just hanging around hoping that Andrew will fly away…all puns intended. Then, in this book, you find out that Joseph and Jenna (Gabriella’s sister) went to each other during the time of grieving over the death of Gabriella. And things are looking very good (and a little cute) for the two of them.

In Soul Stalker, Gabriella finds herself facing more problems and still grieving over the loss of her mother. searching for Andrew and trying to really get control of her new Angelic powers. Trying to save the world and trying not to get killed by the Soul Stalker. She is a very busy woman! I really like the character development, and hope that in the end, most things work out for the best.

And I say “most” only because I know that there has to be more tragedies and drama for the books to stay alive and keep interest. If Gabriella always got her way, and things always worked out the first try, I think that I would be almost disgusted with the book and not want to read more. But, the way that this book is handled is great. Enough sad things happen, to make you more emotionally attached to the book. You find yourself rooting for Gabriella and wanting to get in there and help her out. All in all, I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone I know. I would caution however, to read the first book relatively close to the same time, just so some of the details are still fresh in your mind.

Excellent book, Laura Kreitzer, can’t wait for the next!

If you would like to follow this author on twitter @LauraKreitzer .

Until Next Time…..Happy Reading!

Leave a comment

Filed under Fantasy

Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson

**WARNING**My review may contain SPOILERS**

So, I have a dilemma on blogging about this book…It is #13 in a series, that I have never previously blogged about, (only because I started my book blogging llloooonnnggg after starting this series). I just feel that explaining this book is going to leave a lot of people in the muck :(. I apologize for this ahead of time, and hope that some can still find it useful. I also hope that I can get more people to read the series as well. I already got my husband listening to the audio books this week 🙂

So, in the Towers of Midnight, we pick up where the Gathering Storm left off. Everyone in this world is preparing for the Last Battle. The fight between good and evil that will ultimately decided the fate of everyone. And whether or not the Dark one will rule, and if this Age is over. Just to start again and hope that it comes out differently. Although, from some of the books, I got the feeling that even though the Wheel of Time turns and Legends come to pass….that everything starts over, that this time around will be the LAST Battle. There will be no more Ages after this one, depending on the outcome. But, that’s just my opinion.

Rand (the Dragon Reborn) has finally came to terms with his destiny. He no longer is angry and mean to everyone. He realized that not feeling anything, is not the way to go. In realizing this, he has become stronger. He also has decided to break the seals on the Dark One’s prison. Which to most is crazy, especially Egwene who is now the Armylin at the White Tower. She spends the book trying to find Mesaana (one of the forsaken) in the White Tower and building up a force to stop Rand from breaking the Seals. Rand gave her a date that he would be in place to break the seals. He tells her knowing that she will try to stop him, although hoping that she will aid him, because he knows now that he will need all the help that he can get. That he can’t do everything on his own. Even with being the Dragon Reborn and all.

Elayne is having her own issues in Andor. She has become queen, and is holding onto that title. Barely. After hearing that Rand has decided to break the seals, she decides to go and take the other throne that Rand has offered her. She figures if she can rule both kingdoms without letting one devour the other, that she will be a force to reckon with should the Final Battle go bad. Plus, two armies, added to what Egwene rounds up, is better than one. Oh, and she is carrying Rand’s babies. Twins. Which was finally confirmed by a midwife, although Min (who gets visions about the future) had already told her that she was having twins. To make matters even more shaky for Elayne, her mother, long thought dead to all, has resurfaced. Which could really muddy up things, if it is seen that it is not Elayne ruling, but Morgase.

There really is a lot going on in this book. After all, it is over 800 pages! To try to explain it all, would mean doing a very loooonnnngggg blog post. Suffice it to say, if you like fantasy and strong female characters, this is definitely a series for you. Listening to book 1 (Eye of the World) with my husband, has brought back a lot of things I had forgotten. The characters are very deep and you get to know each one’s strengths and weaknesses throughout all of the books.

I really like that it is written from each person’s point of view, and that I am not just stuck in the mind of one person throughout the entire series. I feel like I would become bored this way. But, in doing the book in this manner, it keeps everyone fresh in your mind, and helps you to understand what everyone is thinking and doing in preparation for the Last Battle.

The way I understand, there will be only one more book in this series, and this actually makes me very sad. Yes, I want to know what happens, and if everyone that I have come to know and love, survives. But, in learning all that, I will also have to deal with it being THE END. That there will be no more returning to the world of Aei Sedai & Trollocs. Unless, of course, I want to pick the books up and start again. Which is always possible….even probable. 🙂

I know that a lot of people feel the way I do, in so far as, fantasy books are not my cup of tea. Whenever I think fantasy, I get Star Wars & Star Trek stuck in my head. Not to say this is a bad thing, so I don’t want any Trekkies wanting to hang me…or laser me…or whatever it is they do…lol. I just have never had a “want” to read those types of books. So, I really hesitated when the first book was recommended to me. The guy assured me, it wasn’t that kind of fantasy book and that I would surely like it. So, I bought it. And I fell in love with the first book. Before knowing it was a series.

And even though, Robert Jordan died, and the series is now written from his notes by his wife and Brandon Sanderson, I find that I still love the story. And enjoy getting lost in it. It has fighting and scheming, love and betrayal, good vs evil, it has everything….except spaceships. 🙂

In short, excellent read. Can’t wait for the next one. Hope that more people read the series, and can share in my passion.

Until Next Time…..Happy Reading!!!!

2 Comments

Filed under Fantasy

Geist by Philippa Ballantine

Let me just say, I love books that run in a series. Because I always just feel at all sad when a book ends and I can’t find out what happens to the characters later on, if they live happily ever after and all that. It’s too final when there is only one book. That being said….I find that sometimes single books are good too, because keeping up with a bunch of series is sometimes hard to do! I really enjoyed this book. And I am not a huge fan of fantasy books. I got hooked on Robert Jordan as my first fantasy author a couple years ago, to find out he died before finishing the WoT series. I was grumpy until Brandon Sanderson came on as the ghost writer, but I had to read some of his books to make sure he would do my series justice. So, up until a few days ago, those were two of the only fantasy authors I had really every read. I’m glad that I didn’t just limit myself to them, and decided to read this book. 🙂

 The author is really great at building the characters in this book. Sometimes I feel like an author forgets to “fill in” the character, and is worried more about the story and/or back round. Not so in this case. There was never a point in this book where I wondered what any of the characters were feeling during a particular scene. Sometimes, the story was told from two or more perspectives and it was done in such a way that I was not upset at reading the same thing, essentially, twice!

This book is based in another world, and there are Deacons in here that battle Geists. Now geists come in many, many forms so there are many ways to send them back to the Otherside. There are different levels of geist requiring sometimes more then one pair of Deacons (made up of a Sensitive and an Active) to banish them. I liked that this book was pretty fast paced. I didn’t really get bored at all once I was into the book. There was always something happening. The main…well….one of the main characters is Deacon Sorcha Faris. She is a red head with a temper who has gone through many partners, for a number of reasons. She is one of the most powerful Actives in the Order. I really like reading books with strong female leads. Sometimes, I don’t want to read about how the girl is in distress and the guy saves her. It’s nice for it to be the other way around once in a while. Don’t get me wrong. There is some romance written into this book. After all, it’s hard for a male & female to be thrown together in a perilous situation and sparks not happen. Even in real life. Plus, I gotta say, Captain Raed Rossin, is as good a candidate as they come. His character to speaks to the side of every woman that just wants to fix the guy and make him better. It helps that he is tortured by a family curse that has been around for generations and turns him into a type of geist that kills anyone around him. So, he is perfect for our Deacon.

In the beginning of the book, Sorcha is with her husband (and forth partner) when an attack happens. He is seriously wounded, almost killed, causing her to get temporarily assigned a new partner. Which is not usually how things are ran. But when the Arch Abbot says, “Hey, you are going here & this is your new Sensitive” there is not much you can do to say “No”. So this is how she gets hooked to, or should I say bonded to, Merrick. Who is young and has secrets of his own. His own fears for being close to this particular Deacon. Stemming from a childhood memory and the death of his own father.

The three make an unlikely pair and are forced to keep the alliance, even strengthen it throughout the book, based on events and happenings around them. They just keep falling into the worst luck ever. Whether it is a sea creature ripping a ship to shreds and taking down to the depths of the ocean, a head Deacon at an Abby that turns out to be trying to bring powerful geists over instead of sending them back, to their own internal struggles with facing that facts that no rules are absolute and that all their lessons don’t really mean much.

The book is hugely compelling and I would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy laced with a little bit of romance, suspense, and action. Great book, really. And I cannot wait until the next book in this series comes out!

Until Next Time….Happy Reading!

1 Comment

Filed under Fantasy

The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin

**WARNING** my review may contain **SPOILERS**

I want to start off by first saying, wow it has been a long time since I have read an adult “horror” book and been unnerved. This book was a little slow to start and a bit confusing how it kept jumping from past to present and back again. Once I realized what was happening, I grasped the pattern of speech and the surrounding and was able to stay caught up 🙂

The book starts out with Nicholas Close watching his wife up on a later during a remodel, then he has to leave to go get something from the store. As he leaves, it starts to rain, and rather then go back inside to get the keys to the car or a jacket for that matter, he decides to take his scooter. Which turns out to be a very, very bad idea.

He gets into an accident, and goes to call home instead of an ambulance, only no one picks up the phone at home. Worried he rushes home to find his wife slipped off of the latter and broke her neck, trying to answer her cell phone. And now, he lives with this guilt everyday and feels like everyone in her family blames him for his wife’s death. And honestly, in everyday death, people want someone to blame. Nicholas just made it really easy for them 😦

Nicholas winds up slipping down the stairs in front of his apartment and hitting his head quite hard, next thing a kid is stabbing him with a screwdriver….only not? Turns out the whack on his skull has knocked something around in there and now he can see ghosts. Not your ordinary everyday type ghosts, but ones that met a violent end. And they don’t talk to him like in the movie “The Sixth Sense”, or implore him for any type of help. No, these ghosts are stuck in kind of a time loop. Where they keep repeating the final moments of their lives. Over and over and over again. Nicholas sees them everywhere. Sometimes it’s as confusing to the reader as it is to Nicolas as to which people are real and which people are not people at all, but echos of people who used to be.

Eventually, Nicholas moves from England back to Australia, which is where his mother and sister live. Although, in different parts. He goes back to his mother’s. She lives in the same house that he grew up in and on his way into the old neighborhood, he sees that not much seems to have changed. Even the creepy woods are still there. He stops his car and gets out to look at them and just feels that there is something wrong with them still. And he can’t help but wonder why these trees haven’t succomed to the housing boom. Why has no one chopped them up and cleared it all away?

He goes on to his mother’s home. And let me just say here, that I am not a fan of the mother. She seems like a right and selfish b*tch….ahem excuse my language on that one. She just comes off as not reallly wanting her children around. Especially, Nicholas. She thinks he is bad luck and that bad things follow him around. After all, his best friend was murdered back when he was 10….

Anyways, so the first night he is back the cops come knocking at like 3 am or so and are looking for a child. They are really trying to get Nicholas, he just seems to fit perfectly. He comes back into town and bam! a child is now missing. His mother has to jump to his defense. They find out a few days later that the little girl has been killed…her throat cut open, just like his childhood friend, Tristram.

The story gets really in depth, you find out that kids have been disappearing for over a hundred years…every 15 years or so. And if they are found, it’s usually a few miles away and some guy confesses to killing them, but before they can stand trial? They commit suicide. Wraps a case all nicely, practically with a bow. Why would there be any reason to keep looking for a killer in the woods, when people keep coming and confessing to it?

The part that got to me, I think, was the spiders. They play a huge part in this book. And I am by far, not a lover of spiders. At one point, I was so into the book, that some of my hair came loose and tickled my forehead, causing me to “SQUEEEEE” and smack myself quite hard. Resulting in smashing my reading glasses into the bridge of my nose and leaving a nice red mark there 😦

I don’t want to give a way to many details. I have really only given a peek into the book. I feel that I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Dean Koontz, Stephen King, or any other horror author of that same ilk. I would definitely love to read more books by this author. I didn’t feel like I had to force myself to read the book, more like, I had to force myself to STOP reading the book. A sign of a good, make that great, plot line, in my opinion.

Until next time…Happy Reading!!!

2 Comments

Filed under Horror